Brewery Finance — the nation’s first craft beer-focused equipment lender — is launching a quality improvement program to help America’s brewers quickly and affordably obtain vital testing and quality control equipment.
For just $99/month for the first six months, craft brewers can fund up to $50,000 in laboratory and quality control equipment through Brewery Finance’s new Better Beer Now initiative.
“High quality beer is crucial for a brewery’s success and the overall future of craft beer,” says Brewery Finance founder Rick Wehner. “Our Better Beer Now campaign enables craft brewers to quickly and affordably get the equipment they need to make better beer.”
“Instead of waiting to save money for this gear,” Wehner adds, “or using up or seeking a line of bank credit, they can get gear in a couple days and put it to use. In fast fashion they get higher quality beer and peace of mind, and they can boost what we call IQUs (Improved Quality Units) for pennies per serving of beer.”
In the Better Beer Now program, a 3000-barrels/year packaging brewery that finances $25,000 of quality improvement equipment over four years would incur an extra cost of just five cents per sixpack.
To apply for the program, brewers complete a short online application form and provide three months of recent bank statements. Funding is typically approved in 24-48 hours.
Better Beer Now provides funding for such things as microscopes, autoclaves, water-testing equipment, dissolved-oxygen meters, carbon dioxide and ATP (adenosine triphosphate) testers and much more. Packaging breweries can obtain can-seam analysis gear, fill-inspection monitors, date coding equipment and other quality management equipment.
For many small and medium-sized brewers, laboratory and testing equipment is out of their budget and frequently cut from a brewery’s initial plans. But operating without this gear is costly.
“The biggest challenge of doing business as a start-up brewery,” says Mary Pellettieri, Quality Instructor for the Brewers Association, “is gaining a customer’s trust. That trust is lost and hard to gain back if there are quality problems up front.”
“The cost of recalling or dumping one batch of beer,” Wehner notes, “can put a small brewer in a financial hole that could be devastating.”
Brewery Finance typically finances beer-production equipment, but created this new campaign in response to the Brewers Association’s continuing push for higher quality beer from its members. “This is a way for us to do our part for the BA’s very important effort,” Wehner says.
“Quality management investments,” Pellittieri says, “pay off in higher quality beer, less waste, and avoiding the cost of dealing with quality issues out in the market versus pro-actively solving those issues in the brewery.”
“Over time,” she adds, “the Better Beer Now program could save a brewery from so many losses it is hard to even quantify how high its value can be.”
To participate in the program, breweries must be in business for at least six months and have qualifying credit. The first six monthly payments in the Better Beer Now program are just $99/month, and subsequent monthly payments are based on the total cost of the equipment.
All participants in Brewery Finance’s new quality improvement program receive a complimentary copy of Pellittieri’s Quality Management: Essential Planning for Breweries, a Brewers Association publication.